Approximately 17% of the Brazilian population have no access to treated water and roughly 50% have no access to sewage systems. In order to bring water distribution coverage to 99% of the population and sewage collection to 90%, the National Sanitation Plan designed in 2014 estimates around R$300 billion in investments is required.

The Brazilian government cannot afford the necessary investment to improve its water and sewage infrastructure, so private operators are aiming for greater growth in the sector and investors are seeking opportunities — however, the pace of change is still slow. How can Brazil unlock the potential for improvement?

In this Executive Insights we examine four strategies for closing the sanitation gap in Brazil and boosting urgently needed investments in water and sewage systems.

  • Overcome barriers for working with private operators
  • Introduce a disruptive business model that brings together the public and private sectors 
  • Design a mechanism for developing unbiased feasibility studies for use during the bidding process 
  • Apply societal pressure
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